Growing Fritillaria bulblets

Started by PaulSiskind, June 03, 2023, 03:13:36 PM

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One of my Fritillaria persica bulbs didn't come back last year or this year.  As I dug to replace it with something else, I found the bulb.  Apparently, something ate the bottom of the bulb and the basal growth plate.  The remaining part of the bulb was flaking into large scales.  Many of the scales have new bulblets growing on them.  They might have been growing for 2 years, so some of them seem pretty well formed.  (see picture)  I'd like to try to grow them into new bulbs.  Some questions: 

- They have been growing in soil; should I pot up the scales in soil, or some other medium (e.g. vermiculite)?

- Should I plant them as deeply as the original bulb had been, or should or I start them at a shallower depth?

- Should I cut the scales so that there's just one bulblet per scale, or keep them intact and separate the bulbs in a year or two?

- Given that I've interrupted this year's cycle early in the season, should I refrigerate the pots with the scales for a few weeks and then give them a "new" spring/summer?  Or should I just pot them up and let them rest until Fall?

Thanks for the help.



If you have an alternative to putting the bulbs in the open garden, such as a large pot that can be kept rather dry and in the shade, do that. In the ground, they will probably just get eaten again. Do not use vermiculite. Use a well-drained mixture, say coarse sand or grit mixed with a little commercial potting soil. Leave the bulblets attached for now and lift them after 2 years, when they can be detached. This is a desert species; do not keep it wet in summer.


Jane:  Thanks for the helpful info.